13
Wednesday
December 2017
5:11 AM IST
News Headlines
Home   | Main News   | Kerala  | National   | International  | Business   | Sports   | Entertainment   | Columns   | Offbeat   | About Deepika 
International News
Trump takes perilous first steps on world stage
 
From Riyadh to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Rome, Brussels and Sicily, Donald Trump leaves a swirl of domestic woes behind Friday to embark on a first foreign trip that will be closely watched in capitals the world over.

Trump's extraordinarily dense first trip -- six stops in eight days, and countless face-to-face meetings from Saudi King Salman to Pope Francis via France's new leader, Emmanuel Macron -- is fraught with perils for the president.

The avalanche of revelations in the run-up to his departure have eroded Trump's standing at home -- where the parallels with Richard Nixon's ill-fated presidency are now being openly drawn.

They also revived questions about his ability to strike a presidential tone with his foreign counterparts.

"Truth is, nobody knows how Donald Trump is going to act or what he's going to say in meetings of this kind because he's never done it before," summed up Stephen Sestanovich of the Council on Foreign Relations.

White House staff cast the 70-year-old's "friendly but candid" style as an asset in his dealings with foreign leaders.

But as the Republican takes his first steps as head of state on the world stage, his every word, action and tweet will be under the microscope.

Known to dislike long trips, the president will be joined by his wife Melania, who has until now cut a highly discreet figure at his side.

His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner -- two of his closest advisors -- will also be on board Air Force One.

What message will Trump be taking to the world?

On foreign policy, the president has pulled back spectacularly from his most provocative campaign pledges, towards a stance in many respects similar to his predecessor Barack Obama.

But the real estate magnate will still need to explain to foreign partners how his favorite slogan -- "America First" -- can be compatible with multilateralism.

"President Trump understands that America First does not mean American alone -- to the contrary," insisted his national security advisor, H.R. McMaster.

Catchphrases aside, many questions remain unanswered.

Speech on Islam

The White House touts a "historic" trip during which Trump -- in visits to Saudi Arabia, the Vatican and Jerusalem -- will reach out to leaders of the world's major monotheistic faiths.

During his two days in Riyadh, he will likely seek to strike a contrast with the Democrat Obama, who was widely viewed with suspicion by the Sunni Muslim monarchies of the Gulf.

The combination of tough talk on Shiite Iran, a lower-key focus on human rights, and the likely announcement of new arms deals should in theory earn the US leader a warm welcome.

Trump's delivery of a speech on Islam before dozens of Muslim leaders gathered in the Saudi capital could prove a far more delicate exercise, however, given the tensions sparked by his travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority nations -- now stuck in the US courts.

"I'll speak with Muslim leaders and challenge them to fight hatred and extremism, and embrace a peaceful future for their faith," Trump promised ahead of the trip.

In Israel, Trump has hopes -- though it is still unclear how -- of reviving the moribund peace process, meeting both his "friend" Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Bethlehem.

But the Israeli leg of his trip is already awash in controversy -- from a row over his visit to Jerusalem's Western Wall, the holiest prayer site for Jews, to Trump's alleged disclosure of Israeli intelligence to Russian officials.

Trump's meeting with Pope Francis -- two men at odds on everything from climate change to refugee policy -- remains highly unpredictable, although the pontiff says he will give America's bullish leader an open-minded hearing.

Finally, the president's trip will wrap up in Europe where his shifting pronouncements on Brexit, NATO and the future of the European Union have sown confusion among longstanding allies.

Trump will meet members of the North Atlantic alliance in Brussels, before heading on to a G7 summit in Taormina, a picturesque Sicilian town overlooking the Mediterranean.

"Does he invest in the relationship with the Atlantic partners in the same way that every president has done since Pearl Harbor?" wondered Charles Kupchan, former advisor to Obama.

"He came into office suggesting not. He has since said and done things suggesting maybe. But I think everyone will be watching for that."

Trump has yet to personally reassert the US commitment to Article 5, NATO's mutual defense clause.


NY attack: Trump says urgent need to fix 'lax' immigration
Putin, on visit, orders Russian forces to start pulling out of Syria
Netanyahu says he expects Europe to follow US on Jerusalem
Mallya's defence questions impartiality of Indian judicial
Trump reportedly drinks 12 cans of Diet Coke and watches up to 8 hours of TV per day
ISIS still not defeated, British PM Theresa May warns Iraq
Left alliance wins 40 seats in Nepal polls
Iraq declares final victory over Islamic State
Two Palestinians shot dead in Gaza clashes over Trump's Jerusalem move
Japan to buy cruise missiles capable of striking North Korea
Three dead after shooting at New Mexico high school
China, accused of abuses, hosts human rights forum
Yemen government retakes Red Sea town from rebels
Trump's 'provocative' decision could destabilise region: PA
Bitcoin charges through $14,000 as investors pile in
Trump recognises Jerusalem as capital of Israel, shifting policy
Keeler, former model at heart of Profumo affair, is dead
UK foils terror plot to blow up Downing Street gates, kill Theresa May
Bush fire in California wreaks havoc
Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Superstar Rajini turns 67, wishes pour in
 (Chennai, Dec 12, 2017): Superstar Rajinikanth turned 67 today, with his fans leading the bir  
Trailer of horror flick '1921' out
Sara Ali Khan is a hard working actress: Sushant Singh
Watch trailer: 'Annabelle' director's next horror flick on the way !
KERALA NEWS
Dead pigs brought for sale in Vaikom
 (Kottayam, Dec 12, 2017, DG): Locals seized dead pigs which were brought for sale from Tamil
Cyclone Ockhi: 2 more dead bodies found
Committed no crime, want another investigation: Ameerul
Pope enquires about victims of Ockhi cyclone
NATIONAL NEWS
Man arrested for trying to climb Buckingham Palace wall
 (London, Dec 12, 2017): London police said today they have arrested a man for allegedly tryin
Violence is not the way: Aamir on 'Padmavati'
Rahul slams PM Modi for attacking Manmohan Singh
Didn't instruct lawyer to use bad word agnst Jaitley: CM to HC
Untitled Page
Rashtra Deepika LTD
Copyright @ 2017 , Rashtra Deepika Ltd.